By Tamas Mondovics
Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham, District 4, was just one of a number of special guests that attended a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School campus in Riverview.
The campus—fifth for the law school, but the first outside of Michigan—is now located at 9445 Camden Field Parkway just off Highway 301 in Riverview, and the result of a little less than a two-year and a 132,000 square-ft. building renovation project.
“I am pleased that Cooley Law School chose our community for their Florida campus,” Higginbotham said during the ceremony. “The new law school will create a positive economic impact with dozens of full-time and part-time jobs.
Among other school officials and guests, Higginbotham joined Hillsborough County Bar Association president Robert Nader, Gwynne Young, president of The Florida Bar; and Judge E.J. Salcines, of the 2nd District Court of Appeals.
Founded in 1972, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School is a private, nonprofit, independent law school accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission.
Completing the three-phase project, the new Tampa Bay facility is certified by the Society of Environmentally Responsible Facilities (SERF), and will include 24 classrooms with 1,374 seats, while sporting four distance education classrooms with 204 seats, a computer laboratory with 28 seats, a trial courtroom with 90 seats, and an appellate level courtroom with 96 seats.
According to school officials, all classrooms are equipped with state-of-the-art electronic educational tools and the entire building will be wireless. The school will bring the same high-quality legal education to the Tampa Bay area as in Michigan.
The school’s library encompasses approximately 25,600 sq. ft. boasting 15,000 linear ft. of compact or movable shelving, along with offices, work areas, reference and circulation areas, rooms, carrels and study tables.
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, Higginbotham spoke highly of the students already on the roster and wished them well on their journey.
For more information about the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, campus in Riverview, please visit www.cooley.edu/tampabay.